If you do SEO to sell your company’s products and services (and you have no reason not to!), you’ve certainly asked yourself, and not once, the following questions: “Why does SEO change so often?” “Do I really need SEO to sell?” or “Why is it an endless process?”
The answer to most of these questions is the same: the evolution of technology! With all the new opportunities that are offered to them, user behavior changes, and the businesses have to adapt as well.
The same thing is happening with Google, the largest search engine in the world, which, in order to continue to dominate this field, must adapt and offer its users the best possible experience. And Google really knows how to implement changes!
For example, last year alone it reported no less than 3,234 updates to its algorithms (almost 10 changes per day). To these are added those around 10 major updates per year, which “manage” to almost completely overturn the hierarchies in the search results pages.
Therefore, if you want your business to remain relevant in terms of SEO in 2021 (and you have no reason not to want that!), you need to always be up to date with the news and implement the necessary changes on the site and in the optimization strategy.
In this article, we will talk about two of the most important SEO trends that have already started to take shape in 2019, but which will certainly have a huge impact on this field in the coming year. It is about the voice and visual searches, which we will discuss in the following.
Voice searches were born as a result of the increasingly fast pace of life, which no longer allows people to waste time performing “classic” written searches. Currently, they perform more and more voice searches, which are understood by Google thanks to speech recognition programs.
In order for Google to choose your business site to answer users’ questions, you need to tailor your content accordingly.
Before you know how to do this, you need to know that 97% of the answers chosen by Google are on the first page, 76% in the first three organic results, and 70% contain a SERP feature (ie anything else but a “traditional” organic result: snippets, knowledge panel, “people also ask” boxes, etc.).
The main purpose of voice search is to provide valuable and useful content for users, and if you start implementing the changes below now you will already be one step ahead of the competition, which can prove decisive.
If you take advantage of the voice search trend now, your business will gain brand awareness, more traffic to the site, which will result in more sales, so a higher profit. Here’s how to optimize your site for voice searches:
– create a “conversational” content, using a natural language, familiar to people;
– include long-tail keywords in the form of questions in your content;
– make sure that your site is mobile friendly and has a fast loading speed, because Google also chooses the answers for voice searches according to this aspect;
– make sure that teenagers can understand the content of your site (if they do, then adults will definitely understand it too);
– make sure you answer users’ questions in your content, to reach the “zero position” in Google (in the answer snippet that the search engine places above the results of organic searches);
– use structured data (a section of code in which the content of the page is explicitly described, so that Google understands it better).
According to researchers, 90% of the information taken by the human brain is in visual form. In the real world, we use our eyes to find what we want, and in the virtual world, visual searches help us achieve this.
Such a search involves the use of images, instead of words or voice. The image is scanned by artificial intelligence to understand its elements and return the product you are looking for or to look for other similar products.
Companies such as Google, Bing, Amazon and Pinterest use top platforms for visual search, each with its own characteristics. If you own a clothing or home deco store, the photos of your products must be optimized to be displayed properly on Amazon or Pinterest. On the other hand, Google focuses on “understanding” photos of animals, plants, places, books and more.
Focusing your efforts on visual search has the potential to increase the number of transactions and potential customers of your business.
When users search for a certain image, and companies appear among the first results, you can be sure that they will take a large part of the market share. Thus, they will not only offer a personalized shopping experience for each client, but they can also make a profit through cross selling. Here’s how to optimize your site for visual searches:
– add other descriptive texts to the images, using relevant keywords for the respective type of content;
– add images to the sitemap to help crawlers access them;
– apply the markup scheme to the images and add details about each product, so that Google can “understand” better what it is about;
– optimize image titles, alt tags, file names, so that Google better understands the context;
– use images with a good resolution, which can be “read” more easily;
– optimize the size (in kilobits) of images, so that your site stays fast.
Optimizing your business website for both voice and visual searches can bring you benefits you never thought of. First, we talk about increasing traffic and conversions (because SEO brings the most “quality” audience interested in buying products and services) and increasing brand awareness (your business will be recognized as an authority in the field, if it ranks #1 in various types of searches).
At the same time, the implementation of such a strategy will ensure you long-term results, of course, provided you never stop investing in SEO. Last but not least, you can even enjoy the increase of offline sales, as many of them start with an online search, and users will retain your business, as long as it appears in the first results.
Therefore, if we were to consider SEO optimization a time axis, keyword stuffing, link exchange and duplicate or poor quality content is the past, and voice and visual searches – the future.
So, invest in optimizing your business website in this direction, and 2020 may be the best year in terms of sales. Good luck!